The spring release calendar continues to ramp up with this week’s outlook for the wide releases of April 8, headlined by Paramount Pictures and SEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Michael Bay’s Ambulance, and A24’s Everything Everywhere All at Once (expanding from limited release).
Our previous report on Morbius can be found here, but the second frame of next month could be just as (if not more) promising with the veritable trio of films slated to hit cinemas nationwide. Preliminary analysis and initial forecast ranges for each are below.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 marks the first IP-based sequel catering to families and fans in quite awhile, and the timing should be ripe as the heart of spring approaches next month with the pandemic waning and national attention slowly moving away from virus concerns and restrictions.
The first film, incidentally, was a breakout hit in early 2020 when its run was blunted by the beginning of the COVID-19 health crisis. Sonic the Hedgehog owns the top video game-based opening weekend in history with its $58 million three-day bow that February. The film closed out at $149 million domestically with plenty left in the tank before theaters were forced to close.
Two years later, marketing for the sequel is hitting the right notes so far. A returning cast (James Marsden, Ben Schwartz, Jim Carrey, et al) with newcomer Idris Elba as the voice of Knuckles — a popular character from the games — is driving comparable fan enthusiasm via social metrics and trailer views as the first film prior to its debut. Pre-release models are also in the same ballpark as Uncharted ahead of its debut last month.
With pent-up demand for a major family title and young males as the core demographic, Sonic 2 is very well-positioned as a theatrically exclusive release.
- Michael Bay returns to the theatrical space with an action-thriller in Ambulance that’s driving solid conversation as an original film. Early marketing is generating tracking comps on par with prior films of his, including 13 Hours and Pain & Gain.
The male audience has been among the most reliable to show up during the pandemic recovery era, and a cast led by Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Eiza Gonzalez under the banner of Bay’s sellable name could generate healthy box office interest.
- Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s Everything Everywhere All at Once is right up the alley of distributor A24, which has cultivated a fan base in a way exceedingly rare even for indie studios as they continue to experiment with new talent and genre-crossing.
The Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Lee Curtis-led action/comedy has earned solid marks in very early tracking, not dissimilar from last year’s The Green Knight ahead of its summer debut that brought out faithful A24 followers.
- The biggest X factor for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 remains the volatile nature of family audience sentiment. That market has hardly been tested since Sing 2 released over the holidays at the end of last year, so this film will provide major insight as to how parents are feeling as the industry heads into the late spring and summer movie seasons.
Additionally, family-driven sequels have a tendency to decline from their predecessors’ results more often than they match or exceed them. Key examples here include the sequels to The LEGO Movie and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014). However, as noted, the first Sonic‘s pandemic-hampered run may render such comparisons for this sequel mostly irrelevant.
The film also runs up against Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore in its second frame (Easter weekend) and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in its fourth, so stretch weekends won’t be without competition for audience and premium screen space.
- With the Sonic sequel likely to pull a heavy young male audience, Ambulance will serve as the counter-programmer for adults on this weekend. Given that Bay is also coming off his own Netflix film, 6 Underground, this is another test of the kind of content audiences are willing to prioritize the theatrical experience for. Positive reviews and word of mouth will be important toward that goal.
- Further down the counter-programming alley is Everything Everywhere All at Once, and even though it’s planned as a wide expansion (following a March 25 limited release), this should still play to a mostly niche audience upfront given the high profile content opening against it.
Long Range Box Office Forecast & 2022 Calendar
(as of 3/10/22)
|Release Date||Title||3-Day (FSS) Opening Low/High Range||Pinpoint % Chg from Last Week||Domestic Total Low/High Range||Pinpoint % Chg from Last Week||Distributor|
|3/18/2022||The Outfit||$500,000 – $2,000,000||$1,500,000 – $8,000,000||Focus Features|
|3/18/2022||Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie|
|3/18/2022||Umma||Sony / Stage 6 Films|
|3/25/2022||The Lost City||$15,000,000 – $25,000,000||$45,000,000 – $78,000,000||Paramount Pictures|
|4/1/2022||The Contractor||$500,000 – $3,000,000||$1,000,000 – $7,000,000||Paramount Pictures|
|4/1/2022||Morbius||$40,000,000 – $60,000,000||$80,000,000 – $130,000,000||Sony Pictures / Columbia|
|4/8/2022||Ambulance||$12,000,000 – $18,000,000||NEW||$35,000,000 – $55,000,000||NEW||Universal Pictures|
|4/8/2022||Everything Everywhere All at Once (Wide; Limited on Mar. 25))||$3,000,000 – $7,000,000||NEW||$10,000,000 – $20,000,000||NEW||A24|
|4/8/2022||Sonic the Hedgehog 2||$40,000,000 – $55,000,000||NEW||$115,000,000 – $165,000,000||NEW||Paramount Pictures|
|4/13/2022||Father Stu||Sony Pictures / Columbia|
|4/15/2022||Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|4/15/2022||Untitled WB Event Film 2022 1||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|4/22/2022||The Bad Guys||Universal Pictures / DreamWorks Animation|
|4/22/2022||The Northman||Focus Features|
|4/22/2022||The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent||Lionsgate|
|4/29/2022||Memory||Briarcliff Entertainment / Open Road Films|
|5/6/2022||Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness||Disney / Marvel Studios|
|5/20/2022||Downton Abbey: A New Era||Focus Features|
|5/27/2022||Bob’s Burgers||Disney / 20th Century Studios|
|5/27/2022||Top Gun Maverick||Paramount Pictures|
|6/3/2022||Eiffel||Blue Fox Entertainment|
|6/3/2022||Untitled WB Event Film 2022 2||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|6/10/2022||Jurassic World: Dominion||Universal Pictures|
|6/17/2022||Lightyear||Disney / Pixar|
|6/24/2022||The Black Phone||Universal Pictures|
|6/24/2022||Elvis||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|6/24/2022||Untitled Blumhouse Project||Universal Pictures|
|7/1/2022||Minions: The Rise of Gru||Universal Pictures|
|7/8/2022||Thor: Love and Thunder||Disney / Marvel Studios|
|7/15/2022||Bullet Train||Sony Pictures|
|7/15/2022||Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris||Focus Features|
|7/22/2022||Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank||Paramount Pictures|
|7/22/2022||Where the Crawdads Sing||Sony / 3000 Pictures|
|7/29/2022||DC League of Super-Pets||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|8/5/2022||Easter Sunday||Universal Pictures|
|8/5/2022||Secret Headquarters||Paramount Pictures|
|8/5/2022||Untitled WB Event Film 2022 3||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|8/12/2022||Untitled Searchlight||Disney / Searchlight|
|8/12/2022||Man from Toronto||Sony Pictures / Columbia|
|8/26/2022||The Bride||Sony Pictures / Columbia|
|8/26/2022||Fear||Hidden Empire Film Group (HEFG)|
|8/26/2022||Samaritan||United Artists Releasing|
|9/2/2022||Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.||Focus Features|
|9/9/2022||Salem’s Lot||Warner Bros. / New Line|
|9/16/2022||Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.||Lionsgate|
|9/16/2022||The Woman King||Sony / TriStar Pictures|
|9/23/2022||Don’t Worry Darling||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|9/23/2022||Puss In Boots: The Last Wish||Universal Pictures / DreamWorks Animation|
|9/23/2022||Untitled 20th Century 2022 3||Disney / 20th Century Studios|
|10/7/2022||Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One)||Sony Pictures|
|10/14/2022||Halloween Ends||Universal Pictures|
|10/14/2022||White Bird: A Wonder Story||Lionsgate|
|10/21/2022||The Banshees of Inisherin||Disney / Searchlight Pictures|
|10/21/2022||Black Adam||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|10/21/2022||Ticket to Paradise||Universal Pictures|
|10/21/2022||Untitled Paramount||Paramount Pictures|
|10/28/2022||The Devil’s Light||Lionsgate|
|11/4/2022||Untitled Bee Gees||Paramount Pictures|
|11/4/2022||Untitled David O. Russell||Disney / 20th Century Studios|
|11/11/2022||Black Panther: Wakanda Forever||Disney / Marvel Studios|
|11/18/2022||Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile||Sony / Columbia Pictures|
|11/18/2022||Untitled WB Event Film 2022 4||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|11/18/2022||She Said||Universal Pictures|
|11/18/2022||Thirteen Lives||MGM / United Artists Releasing|
|11/23/2022||The Fabelmans||Universal Pictures|
|11/23/2022||Strange World||Walt Disney Pictures|
|12/2/2022||Violent Night||Universal Pictures|
|12/9/2022||(no releases scheduled)|
|12/16/2022||Shazam! Fury of the Gods||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|12/21/2022||Avatar 2||Disney / 20th Century Studios|
|12/21/2022||I Wanna Dance With Somebody||Sony Pictures / TriStar Pictures|
|12/23/2022||Untitled 20th Century 2022 6||Disney / 20th Century Studios|
|12/25/2022||A Man Called Otto||Sony Pictures / Columbia|
|12/30/2022||(no releases scheduled)|
All above figures represent best and worst case scenarios for how each respective film is currently tracking based on existing market conditions and projected model fluctuation before release. These are not final forecasts.
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